Timeline of events in recent Syria crisis

Agence France-Presse
Events on August 30, concerning Syria, as France and the United States mull a joint action in response to suspected chemical weapons attacks against civilians on August 21

IMMINENT ATTACK. A Syrian army tank maneuvers in the Eastern Ghouta area on the northeastern outskirts of Damascus on August 30. Syria expects a military attack "at any moment," a security official tells AFP. Photo by Sam Skaine/AFP

DAMASCUS, Syria – The following were the events on Friday, August 30, concerning Syria, as France and the United States mull a joint action in response to suspected chemical weapons attacks against civilians on August 21.

The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which allegedly carried out the attacks on the Eastern Ghouta area and Moadamiyet al-Sham, near Damascus, has vowed to defend itself against any international military action.

Friday, August 30

– The United States still seeks an “international coalition” in response to the alleged attacks by Syrian forces, despite a vote against military action by the British Parliament, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said.

A day earlier, the White House suggested that the US reserved the right to take unilateral action against the Syrian regime.

– British Prime Minister David Cameron said he still wanted to see “a robust response” to the use of chemical weapons.

– French President Francois Hollande said that “France wants firm and proportionate action against the Damascus regime,” and added that the British vote did not change France’s position.

He also did not rule out strikes before the French parliament debates the issue during an extraordinary session next Wednesday.

– The Syrian opposition voiced regret at the British parliamentary vote and said it should not stop Western air strikes.

– Russia welcomed the British parliament’s rejection of military action and warned that any attack without UN approval would “inflict huge damage to the system based on the central role of the UN.”

– Germany ruled out participating in possible strikes against Syria, a government spokesman said.

– Last day of investigations into the suspected attacks by UN experts. They are to leave Syria on Saturday and quickly make a preliminary oral report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

– Syria will reject any partial UN conclusions on the alleged deadly gas attack before full analyses are undertaken, state television said

– Fighting raged on northern and western fronts of Moadamiyet al-Sham, as well as on other fronts, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

– Israel deployed its Iron Dome missile defence system in Tel Aviv.

– Britain warned its citizens against all but essential travel to Lebanon due to a “heightened risk of anti-Western sentiment”.

– Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said military strikes against Syria could escalate into “a global conflagration”. She adds: “Syria will obviously react” to attacks, and rules out any Italian participation.

– Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says information compiled by Turkish secret services removes any doubt that the Syrian regime is responsible for chemical attacks near Damascus on August 21.

– NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the suspected use of chemical weapons demands an international response but that the alliance will not take part.

– US intelligence report says there was a chemical attack in Syria that killed 1,429 people, including at least 426 children. It says officials “assess with high confidence” that the Syrian government carried out the attack.

– US Secretary of State John Kerry says any strike will be a “tailored response” to punish Assad, will not involve “boots on the ground” and will not be open ended.

– US President Barack Obama says that chemical attacks in Syria threaten national security and that he is mulling a “narrow, limited” strike, but has not yet made a decision.

Syria expects a military attack “at any moment,” a security official told AFP Saturday, August 31, just hours after United Nations experts probing a suspected gas attack blamed on the regime left the country.

Syria: Damascus Areas of Influence and Areas Reportedly Affected by 21 August Chemical Attack 

Rappler.com

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